Playlist: 11 Best Local Songs from Winter 2016

Listen to new songs from Lex Allen, Reyna, IshDARR, Space Raft, Klassik, Myles Coyne and more in the latest installment of Music Notes’ quarterly playlist.

Winter is gone and it’s never coming back. Okay, maybe that’s not quite true, but sunnier skies definitely lie ahead sometime in the near future. Let’s celebrate that fact by revisiting some of the best local songs of the passing season.

Here’s another installment of Music Notes’ quarterly playlists.

“Spill Your Colors” – Reyna

We got our first peak of the reinvented Vic and Gab with this vivid track, and the future surely looks bright for the two sisters. On “Spill Your Colors,” they’ve ditched the bar for the dance club, which seems to suit them even better.

Next show: Cactus Club on March 26 with No No Yeah Okay

“Paper Airplanes” – Space Raft

Before releasing sophomore album Rubicon (due out April 15 on Dusty Medical Records), Space Raft let this soaring, power pop ballad fly on a 7-inch earlier this year.

Next show: April 14 at Turner Hall Ballroom with Jaill, Def Harmonic, Midnight Reruns, Lex Allen and Escuela Verde’s Skai Academy

“Cream and Sugar” – Lex Allen

A sultry wake-up song that’s stronger than any cup of joe. Make sure to check out the accompanying music video from Cody LaPlant where a debaucherous high-rise party recharges after everyone wakes up.

Next show: April 14 at Turner Hall Ballroom with Jaill, Space Raft, Def Harmonic, Midnight Reruns and Escuela Verde’s Skai Academy

“Funny Love” – The Bang Bang

This sticky sweet love song warms the heart. It’s the title track from the band’s new three-song EP, which was fittingly released right around Valentine’s Day.

Next show: April 3 at Frank’s Power Plant with Erisa Rei, Midnight Liedtke & The Staggerlees

“Time Shawty” – IshDARR

Off the back of last year’s successful mixtape Old Soul Young Spirit and a European tour, IshDARR started 2016 strong with this track produced by Baltimore’s Millz Douglas, which shows off the young rapper’s still burgeoning talent.

Next show: No Milwaukee dates scheduled

“Spring Construction” – Pharo

A breezy tune that feels like a ‘90s indie rock song draped in synthesizers. It’s the first single from GGOOLLDD drummer Mark Stewart, who’s working under the moniker Pharo and the fourth we’ve heard from bedroom electro-pop record label Close Up of the Serene.

Next show: April 8 at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee on Prospect with HÆLOS

“Amateurs” – Klassik

This laid-back track acts like a post script to last year’s genre-bending, crossover hit Seasons, as Klassik maintains his high batting average with this one-off.

Next show: April 23 at Mad Planet with Wordsworth, Surgeons in Heat and Mortgage Freeman

“Good Times” – WORK

The opener from WORK’s latest post-punk effort, Doin The Lords, exposes the emotional consequences of casual alcoholism. Spoiler alert: the times aren’t really that good.

Next show: No Milwaukee dates scheduled

“Slender-Man” – Myles Coyne

It’s not a complete surprise since the omnipresent Riverwest musician has shown up in heavy hitting bands like Temple and Animals in Human Attire in the past, but it’s still a bit jarring to see Myles Coyne leave his folk roots in the dust for his newest solo material. This one, the opener of the Mouse Corn EP, shakes up his sound with big, chugging guitars and one sleek guitar solo.

Next show: April 24 at G Daddy’s BBC with Siren, AR Wesley and Grasping at Straws

“Mi Mynd” – Danny Arcane

This blissed-out track features a mellow beat, which appropriately backs the relaxed flow of the daydreaming rapper Danny Arcane. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a lazy afternoon.

Next show: No Milwaukee dates scheduled

“Bad Dreams, Cocaine & Whiskey” – Liar’s Trial

Liar’s Trial, who released their second album Songs About Momma, Trains, Trucks, Prison, and Getting Drunk in February, finds the intersection between country and punk music, which ends up feeling like taking a shot of whiskey followed by a punch in the face.

Next show: May 24 at Shank Hall with Billy Joe Shaver



Kevin is a freelance writer residing in Milwaukee. He’s contributed to The Shepherd Express, Third Coast Daily, Pop Matters and the sadly now-defunct A.V. Club Milwaukee. He looks forward to forging a deeper connection with the city’s impressive music scene during his gig as a Music Notes blogger. His talents include music criticism, riding a bicycle, drinking tasty beers and a crafty croquet swing. His weaknesses comprise Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, professional wrestling and his ever-growing record collection. He’s in desperate need to find more physical (and hard drive) space for the exceptional albums Milwaukee musicians keep churning out.